International Standards of SpaExcellence(SM)2014 A Quality System Approach for Spa Businesses
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Cliff Spa at The Cliff House Resort & Spa in Ogunquit,
this cliffside spa in October 2008
on the linked photos to see larger images or go to the Photo
the WayBack Machine to the summer of 1980. After driving through the night in
my bright yellow Pinto, my husband Jeff and I and our best friends from our Georgia
Tech days, Linda and Frank, crossed from New Hampshire into Maine. We were headed
to Reid State Park to snooze and shower before going to Five Isles for a picnic
lunch of fabulously fresh lobster. We wanted to explore the coast on the way and
somehow ended up on Shore Road which eventually led to The Cliff House. This hotel
was set on the magnificent Bald Head Cliff and is now the picture that comes to
my mind when I hear someone talking about the rocky coast of Maine. We vowed that
we would return some day and stay for a while.
Back to the future...28 years later - Jeff and I finally
return. We've changed a lot in that time - kids have come and gone (and come back!)
- and so has The Cliff House - most notably with the addition of the Cliff Spa.
arrived late on a dreary, wet, and foggy fall afternoon. We checked in, settled
into our room in the Cliffscape building and had a lobster dinner in the Dining
Room that overlooks the cliff and ocean. Even though it was October, it was still
warm. We left the windows open and slept peacefully to the rhythmic sound of waves
crashing on the rocks.
A beautiful new day dawned, and we enjoyed the clear views
from the Dining Room while we had breakfast. Afterwards, we headed to the oceanfront
spa. It's in the separate spa building which is connected to Cliffscape via a
tunnel or by a short walk outside.
the spa building and passed the retail boutique. After checking in at the spa
reception desk, I walked with Jeff to the fitness center to take a peak. On the
lower level, there is a 75-foot lap pool and whirlpool. On the upper lever, there
is a bank of cardio equipment with individual TV screens and a gorgeous view of
the ocean beyond the outdoor infinity-edge pool and whirlpool (closed for the
season during our visit). At the far end, there are strength machines and free
weights. This all also overlooked the lower level swimming pool.
to work out, and I returned to the spa reception area. I was told to go to the
women's locker room to change then wait in the lounge. I had plenty of time before
my appointment, so I took advantage of the steam and sauna in the locker room.
outside the lounge is a labyrinth based on the pattern
of the labyrinth at Chartres. Again, the views were spectacular! I slowly walked
along its path completely enjoying the fresh air, warm sun and sound of the surf
until it was time for my treatment.
Cliff Spa's menu of services uses symbols to indicate services that feature all
natural products and those that are unique to the Cliff Spa including Blueberry
Body Wraps, Native Juniper Berry Wraps, The Cliff House Seashell Massage and Maine
Blueberry Manicures and Pedicures.
I was having the 1 hour,
50 minute Atlantic Well-Being Therapy. My therapist, Carleen, escorted me to a
tiled treatment room with a stained glass shower door. She pointed out the heated
towel rack and suggested I use it for my robe when I get undressed (nice touch!).
I settled on the treatment table, and Carleen returned to give me a nice scalp
massage with hair conditioner and a salt scrub to exfoliate my skin. I rinsed
off behind the pretty stained glass door and returned to the table for a deeply
relaxing stone massage with a warm combination of green tea, ginkgo and ginger
plant oils. The treatment ended with a body wrap with Babor's ScenTao cream, a
mini-facial with Babor products and a head massage to bring it full circle. As
I left the treatment room in my warm robe, Carleen gave me an inspirational card
that said, "I love and approve of myself. I appreciate all that I do. I am
good enough just as I am. I speak up for myself. I ask for what I want. I claim
my power." I returned to the labyrinth to walk and meditate on these thoughts.
Cliff Spa has 10 spa treatment rooms, a manicure room and a pedicure room. Other
services available at the time of my visit at the Cliff Spa at the Cliff House
Resort & Spa include:
Exfoliating body treatments
Maine Wild Rose
Juniper Berry Wrap
Espresso Mud Wrap
Herbal Tea Treatment
Salt Body Buff
and Rice Body Polish
Algae Luxury Detox & Slimming Treatment
Memory Marine Spa Ritual
Aromatherapy Hot Towel Massage
Treasure of the Sea
Cliff House Signature Massage
The Cliff House Stone Massage
Cliff House Seashell Massage
Table Thai Massage
Neck and Shoulder Massage
Soothing Foot Massage
Spa In-Room Couples Massage
Lime Blossom Scalp Massage
House Signature Facial
Atlantic Antioxidant Facial
Sensitive Skin Facial
The Pampered Back
and Decollete Treatment
Flower Acid Peel
Lip And Eye Treatment
The Healing Journey
Change for Hands or Feet
Nail Service Enhancements
Hand or Foot Treatment
The Cliff House Resort & Spa is a family owned business,
welcoming guests since 1872. It's set on seventy acres high above Bald Head Cliff
- a uniquely beautiful setting. Other buildings with guest rooms include the Cliff
Spa, Cliff Top and Ledges. Each guest room features a picture window and deck
with views of the coast and ocean, combination tub/shower bath, hair dryer, coffeemaker,
cable TV, heat and air conditioning, direct dial phone and wired high-speed internet
access (additional charge). There is an indoor family pool and whirlpool and a
business center and conference facilities in the Cliffscape building. There are
outdoor tennis courts and an additional outdoor family pool.
Cliff House Resort & Spa is open from April through November. Packages available
at the time of my visit were enticing:
Spa Sampler - 3 Nights Includes
ocean-view Spa lodging; full breakfast each morning; lobster dinner or choice
of entrée with beverage, appetizer and dessert one night of your choice;
$200 spa credit and $25 Cliff House money per person; Maine sales tax and service
Spa Sampler - 4 Nights Includes ocean-view Spa
lodging; full breakfast each morning; lobster dinner or choice of entrée
with beverage, appetizer and dessert one night of your choice; $300 spa credit
and $25 Cliff House money per person; Maine sales tax and service charges.
Romance Includes ocean-view Spa lodging; full breakfast each morning; lobster
dinner or choice of entrée with beverage, appetizer and dessert one night
of your choice; $125 spa credit per person with option for in-room massage, champagne
with glasses, a rose and a box of truffles; Maine sales tax and service charges.
ocean-view Spa lodging; full breakfast each morning; lobster dinner or choice
of menu entrée with beverage, appetizer and dessert one night of your choice;
$125 spa credit per person; box of truffles, champagne and glasses, and a rose
for your room; Maine sales tax and service charges.
On one of the days of our stay, we ventured into the town
of Ogunquit (about 10 minutes from The Cliff House) where there are lots of quaint
shops and busy restaurants. The feature that I loved best was the Marginal Way,
a 1¼ mile footpath offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic coast while
"meandering by tangled bayberry and bittersweet bushes, gnarled shrubs of
fragrant pink and white sea roses and shaded alcoves formed by wind-twisted cedar
trees." The Town of Ogunquit has maintained the Marginal Way for more than
80 years. It is one of the finest, most spectacular and most accessible panoramas
of rocky coastal shoreline in Maine.
MEMBERSHIP - Membership packages are available to non-hotel guests. Package
information for 1-, 3- and 8-month memberships can be found on the Web site.
GROUP FITNESS CLASSES - Please
call the Spa Front Desk for a complete list of class offerings, schedules and
REQUIREMENT - At least 18 years of age.
SERVICE PRICING - All service prices do not include gratuity. Gratuity
is left to your discretion and should be based on the satisfaction of services.
Guests often use fine dining gratuity (15-20%) as a guideline.
CANCELLATION POLICY - Appointments cancelled within
24 hours of the scheduled time will be billed at the full price of service.
GIFT CERTIFICATES - Gift Certificates are perfect
for any occasion and may be used throughout the Resort. Certificates are available
for purchase through the Hotel Front Desk, online, by phone or mail.
Photos copyright 2008,
Julie Register unless marked * which are courtesy of
Cliff House Resort & Spa
In The Grand Spas of Central Europe, historian David Clay Large follows the grand spa story from Greco-Roman antiquity to the present, focusing especially on the years between the French Revolution and World War II, a period in which the major Central European Kurorte (literally, “cure-towns”) reached their peak of influence and then slipped into decline.
Featured Spa Event
Manitou Springs, CO
September 30 through October 1,
Waterfest will bring together, educators, practitioners, water enthusiasts and local residents for three days to explore the geology, hydrology, health benefits, business, culture and history of mineral water. The recently opened SunWater Spa and Wellness Center offers guests the opportunity to soak in the heated mineral springs water that has made the town a health seekers retreat for more than 150 years.
Presentations and discussions at the Manitou Springs City Hall on Saturday, October 1st
- 10am: Geology & Hydrology: Understanding and Protecting our Mineral Springs Aquifers: vulnerabilities, dangers, and creative approaches
- 11:15am: Culture & History: Explore the history of Manitou Springs and the development of global spa cultures
1:45pm: A New Frontier in Medicine: Balneology and a new system of natural therapeutics, evidence and applications.
3:00pm: Business & Economics: Interactive Roundtable for Mineral Springs Owners & Operators: Challenges & Opportunities for the 21st Century